Air India is under fire for cutting meat out of their economy-class menu, a move some critics are calling discriminatory.

India’s flagship carrier announced their decision to serve only vegetarian meals to passengers flying economy class as part of a cost-cutting measure.

But critics claim to see more nefarious intentions at play, calling the decision discriminatory against the country’s minority groups who eat meat, and blatantly favourable towards the country’s majority Hindus who are vegetarian.

One of the most re-tweeted and liked tweets about the controversy comes from a Bangalore-based chef and food writer, who wrote, “Only veg food on Air India. Next, flight attendants to speak only Hindi. After that, stand for national anthem before flight take-off.”

On his Facebook page, Air India’s chairman Ashwani Lohani defended the move and said he was surprised that it has become politicised as national news.

“This reduces wastage, saves on cost, improves service and eliminates possibility of a mix up. Overall good for the airline as well as flyers,” he wrote.

“…Surprised to see that this decision has emerged as a national news and is being posed as a major issue. Amazing indeed.”

In 2012, the fledgling airline was given a US$5.8bil (RM24.86bil) government bailout. – AFP Relaxnews